This book is the third in what is now being referred to as the “Inheritance Cycle”. It was originally supposed to be a trilogy, but upon reaching the third installment the author realized he had far too much ground to cover in a single novel.
My original attempt in this review was going to be to keep the spoilers to a minimum to interest others in picking up the series. But therein lies a real problem. First off, I wasn’t aware it was not the last book until halfway through when I realized he still had to avenge tons of people and unless it was going to be done 10 at a time per page until the end it wasn’t going to work.
I will say that if you have seen the movie (Eragon), you would do well to forget it entirely if you plan to read the books. It succeeds in being a decent film, but ruins itself when it comes to following the books at all. Chronology is destroyed, some characters aren’t introduced, and others are killed prematurely.
Eragon is a young human who is also a Dragon Rider. It used to be a prestigious thing until an insane man named Galbatorix snapped and killed all the previous Dragon Riders. Now magic users are looked upon as a necessary evil and only in battle-type scenarios.
Eragon has gotten himself tangled in so many ways. He’s been tutored by the elves, subservient to a human ruler, a member in all but blood of a clan of dwarves, and shape-shifted by magic to appear as a human with elf-like features.
During his training I found great comfort in the fact he was getting so strong. This book proceeds to reduce his strength to the point he might as well be a ventriloquist in comparison with a real magician. But hope stays alive! He may yet change and grow in just the right ways to take down the evil King Galbatorix. It also helps he has a pimptastic flying dragon on his side named Saphira. Despite Eragon’s strength or comparable lack thereof, Saphira continues to kick butt and take names throughout the story.
Oh, and behind it all there’s a hint of a love story. I say a hint because the woman has said she’s not interested and Eragon has just recently figured out how to not act like a love-sick puppy every time he sees her.
There was also some premarital hanky-panky. Not on Eragon’s part, but with other characters…. I understand the point that details like this give the story a better sense of realism because that same thing happens in the real world. But I’m reading a story to escape from the tragedies of poor decision making that plague reality. I really don’t mind moral and unwavering characters. There should be more of them around. We had enough human drama in dealing with how bad the characters felt about the war they were involved in. The inclusion of a rush wedding to ‘protect the girls honor’ seemed trite, and it also spoke to a misunderstanding of the whole situation. The dishonor to the girl had already taken place in that the guy couldn’t control himself before they were married…. But I get wrapped up in details of stories like they really matter one way or the other.
Overall it was a good story and should lead in much better to what we all hope is the thrilling conclusion to this cycle or saga or series or whatever title is given to a 4-book group. If you’ve read it or plan to read it, feel free to let me know in the comments. Think I should never do another book review because I ‘chase too many rabbits’, tell me. And above all, have a pleasant day.

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